There has never been a better time to get into motor boats, also known as speed boats or power boats. These are vessels that don’t need any external source of propulsion. There’s no need for paddles nor the wind, just the engine on the boat. We’re going to narrow down this huge category of boats, which can apply to everything from single-person vessels to mega-yachts with helipads, to the best inflatable dinghies for cruising used to tend them.
Looking for the perfect weekend cruise with all the amenities to make the trip as comfortable as possible? Cabin cruisers have large, v-shaped bottoms that are perfect for sea conditions and tend to range between 20 and 40 ft. in length, with either inboard or stern drive engine. Capable of carrying up to ten people, depending on size, these boats include a kitchen, toilet, and multiple rooms to sleep in. Many cabin cruisers are flush with modern luxuries, like AC and heating, showers, hot water, and an electrical supply. To keep all of this electrical equipment running well, they often need a proper battery charger. They’re well suited for day cruising, overnight voyages, sleeping on board, and spending time with family and friends.
If you’re looking for something to appeal to a more thrill-seeking nature, the jet boats might be the better option for you. These jet-propelled boats reach exhilarating speeds with very little resistance and are incredibly agile and quick to turn. They can be on the smaller range, often falling between 14 – 25 ft. which makes them much more suitable for running them in shallow waters. They’re also easier to transport than most other motor boats, and when you throw in accessories like good underwater boat lighting they become a style statement. While they are most obviously beneficial for those who want to take part in jet skiing or other water sporting activities, they make for a good alternative for day cruising as well.
These boats are built with power in mind. Bass boats have low profiles, with deep V-shaped hulls and large platforms to the front and back of the boat. They have a small outboard engine that typically hangs off the bow. Measuring between 16 – 25 ft. on average, they don’t need a large engine to provide plenty of horsepower. Bass boats have on-board tanks that circulate aerated water, as well as storage spaces for rods and tackle. These boats are built primarily for freshwater fishing, as you might imagine, but the high-powered engine and open top makes for an excellent ride that can be perfect for zipping up rivers and across lakes with the family. But with that motor mounted on a trolling plate they can still get the fisherman exactly into position. They can easily be trailered to a car, too, making them simple to transport from place to place.
Those who don’t have a specialist use in mind for their boat but don’t quite want to fork out for the luxury of a cabin cruiser may find that a center console is the right choice for them. These are general purpose boats, measuring usually between 18-30 ft. with space for seven people. They are powered by an outboard engine with deep v-shaped hulls that can handle the choppiest of waves, making them well-suited for offshore waters. This makes them not only good for day cruising but also saltwater fishing and offshore activities like scuba diving, as well as offering plenty of storage and an additional toilet (or head) on the larger crafts.
Considered by many to be the perfect family boat, bowriders make for an excellent day cruise with plenty of lounging space and a compact platform. They may not have the power or sporting ability of other motor boats but they offer plenty of room for internal seating, most measuring between 16 – 28 ft. long with the larger models having enough space for up to nine people. There’s space for a couple of people in the cockpit, while the rest of the seats rest on the front (or bow) of the ship, lending the boat its name. Bowriders come with either outboard engines, stern-drive engines, or jet propulsion. Their v-shaped hull allows for easy riding on a variety of water surfaces, making them great for day cruising, watersports like towing tubes, and more under an open sky.
Here is a nice YouTube video showing some classic wooden motorboats:
There’s a lot that goes into choosing the right motor boat. You need to factor in the budget you’re setting, as well as what you’re planning on using the boat for. If none of the options above are too appealing, there are plenty more types out there, including cuddy cabins, inflatables, walkaround fishers and more. Don’t be afraid to do your own research now that this guide has taught you a little about what you can expect.